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Getting Fit: Finding Time to Exercise

Posted Mar 25 2012 10:08pm
"I have no time to exercise" is probably one of the most commonly-heard reasons to not exercise.

Yes, we're all very busy be it with work, family, school, etc. And there are times that we're just so mentally-drained and all we wanna do is relax or do things that don't require much exertion of energy.

Here are some of my personal tips on how you can find time for exercise.

#1: Appreciate Exercise

You can Google up all sorts of articles telling you about the benefits of exercise which is why I'm not going to echo them but I will tell you what I've personally experienced
  • Better body shape eg. more definition in my arms, smaller and less jiggly thighs, narrower hips, tummy doesn't bulge out, etc. 
  • Increased strength and stamina -- I can lift heavier objects with less effort, I can run faster and further and I can climb a hill without needing to stop many times for rest
  • Stress relief, better energy and deeper sleep -- Exercise releases happiness-inducing endorphins to relief stress and I find that I'd have better energy throughout the day if I exercised in the morning. I also sleep better at night.
  • Positivity -- When life's getting me down and negativity creeps in, I find the sense of accomplishment from my exercise when I can so better in a tough routine or hit a new personal record when I run.

#2: Enjoy Exercise

To many people, exercise can be a dreadful chore. For a person that doesn't play sport, exercise was something that I only came to like with time. I started enjoying it from witnessing how it has helped improved myself physically and emotionally. Of course, finding joy in exercise can simply be doing the activity (dancing, badminton, etc.) with a friend. If you don't like to jog, don't just force yourself to do it halfheartedly. It's either find an activity that you like or learn to like the activity. I used to loathe jogging/running but I've actually grown to like it.

#4: Exercise Effectively

My initial idea of exercise was jogging, swimming or going for aerobic classes. The problem is that the first two exercises take up a lot of time to burn any significant amount of calories and classes are usually an hour-long (or annoyingly crowded).

I'm very glad that I've gotten to know about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which basically involves doing a series of short high intensity bursts of exercises. In other words, I get a lot more done ie. more calories burned in a much shorter amount of time. Also...

"You burn fat faster, increase your HGH levels (the hormone that burns fat while keeping muscle), and produce EPOC (an effect where your body continues to burn calories for hours after your workout).  Basically, you can speed through a workout and continue to keep your metabolism up for 24 hours after you work out!" - C25

I go for my Circuit25 sessions on average twice a week. About 2-3 times a week I'll extract the moves that I've learned and allocate 30 minutes to do warm-up, HIIT, strength training and stretching. Being able to do an effective exercise in 30 minutes means I have less room for excuses. 30-minutes is an episode of "How I Met Your Mother", 4 YouTube videos, pressing the snooze button 3 times less...

#3: Make Exercise a Habit

It's difficult to transition from doing little to no exercise to exercising regularly. In my case, I was somewhat forced to exercise because I was very determined to lose weight and I signed up for a gym membership. To be frank, that ignited the regular activity. But once I'd gotten the hang of exercise, it started to feel weird if I did not exercise. I would feel lethargic and grumpy even.

Getting into the habit of exercise is very unlikely to happen overnight so, take it one step at a time. Nonetheless, you have to understand that seeing results from exercise will not happen overnight either. Just stick with it and keep progressing -- you'll experience the benefits of exercise soon enough.

Here's a good read on how you can [ overcome the barriers to exercise ].

If you have any questions for Jeremy regarding fitness or diet, please don't hesitate to ask them in the comment section below.
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